The vibe shifted today. We are all on the same page now. The old tree was shaken up, and the sour apples fell off. There is nothing luxurious about this place. The beds are hard, and you can feel the springs. If you sleep through breakfast, you go hungry. The use of a blow dryer will short out the entire building. If you have issues with shared space, hair in the drain that doesn’t belong to you, or toilets that won’t flush when you need them to, then this place is not for you.
If you want to wake to the sound of cocks floating up the hillside at 6 am, unexpected wind shifts slamming doors shut at all hours, plentiful food at scheduled hours, and all the time in the world to paint fascinating people and sun drenched places then come along.
Today it all made sense.
I went plein-air painting this morning. Not a normal occurrence for me, but I don’t have to worry about the bears or the mountain lions here – so I felt good about it. It was incredibly freeing.
After lunch I had a studio visit scheduled with one of the teachers here. She began to explain the energy difference in a piece painted from a photograph, compared to a piece painted from real life. To prove her point, she sat for me. 30 minutes was my limit. Go for it, make it happen. I did, and IT did. It was a small piece. 4” x 6”. It was not her exact likeness, but it was her – and she had spirit.
I attempted to explain my fear of “dropping” the photograph. “I want it to look good”. This is my reasoning. As if the free flowing energy that bursts out of me would be inferior.
Since the day I arrived, I have watched the old men play cards – I want to paint them. The idea of setting up a canvas within eyeshot and going on about it scares me…an expectation to perform, when I’m not sure I can.
Tomorrow I’m going to do it. I will bring at least 4 small canvases, and I will paint. I will not spend more then 30 minutes on any portrait. I will try to catch the gist of them swiftly and see where it takes me.
More tomorrow. I’ll try to post some pics –painted pics. Ciao.